Dear Cleveland Indians fans:
Few things. First off, if you’re going to want to make jabs at Tampa for having no fans, due to having a terrible attendance record…
Tampa was last this year in attendance. Fair enough. But Cleveland had the third worst attendance this season. They’ve been in the bottom third (21st to 30th) for a decade. That’s like a kid with down syndrome making fun of a kid with cerebral palsy. You really don’t have that much room to talk. A fanbase with a shitty attendance record making fun of another team with a shitty attendance record is counter intuitive and doesn’t make much sense.
Second off: throwing a rookie pitcher, with only 52 innings of Major League experience under his belt, out there to pitch the biggest game of your season is not always the best idea. After Delmon Young crushed his fastball over the fence, he lost all of his composure and confidence; a rookie-esque thing to do. Understandably there wasn’t much of an alternative (wait, Kluber, Kazmir, McAllister could have worked, right?), but I would have no doubt wanted a reliable veteran arm on the mound.
Third: You can’t score runs if you don’t put some clutch into your swings, or make smart at-bats in crucial moments. No, Michael Bourn, striking out on 4 pitches, two of them outside, with men on the corners and no outs does not constitute as clutch. A run should have scored in that instance. Hell, grounding out into a double play would have been a better option almost.
Plain and simple: Tampa Bay was the better team. They played the better game. They pitched better. They batted better. They fielded better. They managed better. It’s okay to be disappointed…
But don’t say the game “was fixed” because your team blew ass in the most important game of the season. Case closed. Have fun watching the rest of the postseason.
Tampa whooping on Indians the one night Cleveland can actually have a sellout crowd. Classic.
AL East Predictions
I made predictions for each division as soon as the offseason started on my personal blog, but with the new signings and tradings going on, I feel like doing new predictions should be done, starting with the AL East.
1. New York Yankees - 95-67
2. Tampa Bay Rays - 92-70
3. Toronto Blue Jays - 86-76
4. Boston Red Sox - 84-78
5. Baltimore Orioles - 70-92
It’s hard to deny that the Yankees are still one of the best teams in baseball, and just barely the best in their division.
The Rays have shown to have one of the best and youngest rotations in the league, led by James “CG” Shields, David Price, ROY of ‘11 Jeremy Helickson, Wade Davis, and the young phenom Matt Moore. The only two rotations that come to mind that are anywhere near or better than the Rays would be the Angels and the elite rotation of the Phillies.
Ever since Jose Bautista exploded in Toronto, they have been a team with a postseason appearance just waiting to happen if they built around him. As he gets better, and the rotation starts to shape up with Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, they can play a good spoiler and may have a shot at making it into the postseason.
Boston is going downhill, and will be for some time. With the addition of Adrian Gonzalez in the 2010 offseason, it seemed that the team would shine in offense, which they did. The problem lies with the abysmal talent in the bullpen and disappointing rotation last season. With the loss of Papelbon, where the Red Sox will end up doesn’t seem promising.
And the Orioles are the Orioles; lackluster and doomed to playing in the toughest division in baseball. They are slowly getting better and more polished with their players, as Matt Wieters is proving to be a premier catcher.
I expect a good battle between the Yankees and Rays for the top spot in the division, but the Blue Jays are my “sleeper” team in the division. What are your predictions?
Two Wild Card Spots? Eh…
So it has been announced over the last day or two (I haven’t caught up with the latest news just yet) that in the 2012 season, there WILL be a second Wild Card team entering the Postseason.
It works like this: at the end of the season, the second best team over the divisions in each league get into the postseason. Then, the two Wild Card teams in each league play against one another in a one game final bout to see who really gets to advance in to the LDS.
There are pros and cons will all of this.
Pros: The first one is the fact that more teams will have a chance to advance into the postseason and possibly to win the World Series. It’ll be nice to see teams who generally don’t make it to the postseason end up making it farther than expected.
More postseason games means more drama and suspense. You can bet this will be one of the most exciting (or disappointing) postseasons ever.
More underdog competitors like the 2011 Cardinals can arise.
Cons: The scheduling is Hell. Basically, if everything works out the way it should, it’ll be okay. But if there are any weather makeup games, tiebreakers, and other faults that mess with the progression of the postseason, all of MLB is going to scramble to get their shit together.
An 85 win team can knock out a 102 win team. But ESPN’s Jayson Stark has pointed out that there has only been one team in the last 60 years that has been under 85 wins and WOULD have made the second wild card spot had the rule been implemented (the 1997 Angels). The average win total for the second wild card spot is 89 wins.
More drama. This one is all about opinion so it goes in both Pros and Cons, If you’d rather things be simpler and straight, you don’t want the extra drama. If you want the suspense, then it’s all good.
Personally, I like having the extra teams. I’m excited to see what extra teams will make it in. But the main thing I’m not a fan of is having the one game “do or die” showdown between the two Wild Card teams. I would rather it be a best two of three instead.
That’s my take on it. What do you all think?